Piolo: Lazio claim small advantage

Lazio head coach Stefano Pioli was happy to settle for a 1-1 draw in the first leg of his side's Europa League clash with Sparta Prague on Thursday.

Martin Frydek broke the deadlock for the Czech side after just 13 minutes at Generali Arena, but Marco Parolo pulled the Italians level in the 38th minute, giving them a slight advantage because of the away goal.

"We wanted to get a small advantage from the first leg away from home and we did that," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We're strong at home, but Sparta Prague are not to be underestimated on their travels either.

"We started the game well and had some good chances, but were caught too open on their goal. The positive thing is the reaction we had, showing real character.

"Now we can look ahead to the second leg, which will also be very balanced. It is only a small advantage, but we have what it takes to qualify over two legs.

"I am a little worried by some of the injury problems we had tonight and will try to get some of them ready to play next Thursday."

Midfielder Lucas Biglia echoed his manager's assessment, but was disappointed not to have taken a bigger lead ahead of the second leg in Rome next Thursday.

"We could've done more," the Argentine added. "It's not a bad result, but not great either, so we have to do better and win on home turf.

"We proved once again that we are a solid outfit and play as a team, something that for some reason we are unable to do in Serie A. What we are lacking is the ability to always maintain the right winning attitude. We tend to get distracted or relaxed.

"I think once we get the hang of playing three games per week, our legs will move better and we'll be able to repeat our Europa League performances in Italy too. We should look to great teams like Juventus and learn from them."